Research World (June 2004)

Date of publication: June 1, 2004

Catalogue: Research World 2004

Author: ESOMAR B.V.

Abstract:

It is of course not true that a market researcher does not dare to say what he does if he is being asked about it. But what if he were to say that he works in a fantastic industry? That he makes an important contribution to decision making in business and society. That is something less obvious. The average market researcher prefers to talk with his colleagues - about data collection techniques and methodologies and about the desirability of conducting a follow up study in order to obtain more insight. This inward looking orientation is not surprising; market research has scientific roots. But, meanwhile the craft has been transformed into a modem industry. Therefore it is not amazing that an increasing number of people are saying that the MR profession should present itself more strongly to the external world. In other words, it should invest more in its status and external reputation to promote its hidden strengths or ‘to improve the value perception of MR’ as we might call it. It is often said that we play a key role in society based on an up-to-date multi-disciplinary holistic approach. We deliver unique insight, interpretation and solutions. Therefore we should powerfully promote what we are good at. For instance through high ground representation in public and in business life but also through cooperation with universities and business schools. And as an industry we must be represented at world events and work more intensively with the press. An increased interest in its external status and reputation marks a development in keeping with an industry that is mature. It can be expected that the debate over the promotion of the added value of the profession will become more heated in the coming period. For identifying an important issue is one topic. But developing joint action - who is doing what - that is a different kettle of fish.

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